Who doesn’t love a big bowl of noodles? There’s something about that chewy and versatile food that makes it a staple the world over. Seemingly every country noodles have come into contact with have made them their own. Here’s how 15 countries use their noodles in their cooking.
What exactly is a noodle? By definition, it’s unleavened dough that’s been either rolled, extruded, or stretched thin and cut into an infinite number of shapes. They’re usually boiled, and then can be used in any number of applications, from simply being topped with sauce to being pan-fried, eaten in soup, or used in casseroles.
It’s widely believed that noodles can trace their origins to China, where they may have been consumed as far back as 4,000 years ago. For this reason, Asian countries are the ones that consume the most noodles on Earth, and also have the most varieties of noodles. Whereas the vast majority of noodles on Earth are made from wheat, in Asia you’ll find noodles made from everything from rice to buckwheat to mung beans.
Over the centuries, noodles have made their way around the world and back, and today the Western country best known for them is obviously Italy, which transformed it into hundreds of different shapes and varieties of pasta. But whether it’s by inventing their own specific type of noodles or co-opting pre-existing ones to make them their own via creative and delicious dishes, nearly every country on Earth uses noodles in some form or another. Here are 15.